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Mark Turcotte

Born: North Dakota
Died: 1958

Pen Name: None

Connection to Illinois: Turcotte has lived in Chicago. He currently teaches at DePaul University.

Biography: Mark Turcotte spent his earliest years on North Dakota's Turtle Mountain Chippewa Reservation and in the migrant camps of the western United States. Later, he grew up in and around Lansing, Michigan. Arriving in Chicago in the spring of 1993 Turcotte rediscovered a love of words, began writing again, and quickly established himself as a unique voice in the city's thriving poetry scene. That summer he was winner of the First Gwendolyn Brooks Open-mic Poetry Award. After receiving an MFA in Creative Writing from Western Michigan University, Turcotte served as the 2008-2009 Visiting Native Writer at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico and has now returned to Chicago where he teaches Creative Writing as Visiting Assistant Professor in English at DePaul University.


Primary Literary Genre(s): Fiction; Poetry

Primary Audience(s): Adult readers


Selected Titles

Exploding Chippewas
ISBN: 0810151227 OCLC: 48951093

TriQuarterly Books, Evanston, Ill. : ©2002.

Everything this poet touches is volatile—the poet himself, the people and world around him, ideas and mythologies, the ghosts of memory and the dream of possible futures, all seem to burst into fragments. Mark Turcotte uses poetry to gather up the pieces—the shards of joy and grief, peace and doubt, strength and temptation, questions and answers—as he tries to define and rediscover what is lost when everyday life becomes explosive.

Songs of Our Ancestors: Poems About Native Americans (Many Voices, One Song)
ISBN: 0516451545 OCLC: 31377158

Childrens Press, Chicago : ©1995.

A collection of more than twenty poems that focus on famous North American Indians and events in their history.

The Feathered Heart (American Indian Studies)
ISBN: 0870134825 OCLC: 774285372

Michigan State University Press, East Lansing : ©1998.

This revised and expanded edition of The Feathered Heart, Mark Turcotte's celebrated collection of Native American poetry, brings traditional oral culture to print. Torn, painful, vibrant, and full of hope, his poetry weaves together the multilayered and textured fabric of contemporary Native American urban and rural existence. Appropriately, each poem in The Feathered Heart possesses a deeply lyrical quality. Raw emotion echoes in Turcotte's voice, in his verse, in the things he sees.